Your core is the connector, coordinator, and stabilizer to your entire body from your arms down to your legs. No movement is truly isolated, because the core has to be active to a certain extent to execute that movement. Early in postpartum your core may not feel the way it did prior to your pregnancy or even during your pregnancy, this is normal. It has adapted to the baby you just spent 9 months creating, now it’s recovering and adapting again to support you as a mother. Regardless, if it’s your 1st or 5th child, doing some form of rehabilitation and core training postpartum is essential to support your daily activities and return you to your desired exercise program.
The core isn’t just the six-pack we see, it is composed of many layers and includes your glutes, lats, and back musculature. Early in rehab the main focus will be on the transverse abdominis (TA), which is the innermost core and acts as a corset to the torso. The TA with your diaphragm and pelvic floor, help coordinate the intra abdominal pressure of the torso and are tightly integrated with one another. For instance as you inhale the diaphragm drops allowing air to enter the lunges, the pelvic floor relaxes and descends slightly, and the abdominals expand. Upon exhalation when you breathe out, your pelvic floor lifts, your diaphragm lifts, and your abdominals contract. We leverage this natural tendency to promote activation and support through pregnancy and early postpartum.
As we move out to the surface, this is where your internal and external obliques, your rectus abdominus work with your glutes, lats, and back musculature to stiffen and support your torso when you are lifting. And where we typically spend more time training in a typical program.
It’s important to have a core program that addresses the entire core, that way decreasing your risk of injury, improving your strength, power, and resiliency. Working from the deepest layer out to our superficial layers will help you achieve that. This playlist will highlight some breathing drills, mobility exercises, and core activation to warm you up for your workout, or help you get started in your core rehabilitation journey.